Canyon Falls, Newport Aquarium’s newest exhibit, to open Saturday

Rare otters and lizards highlight Aquarium’s latest guest experience

– The all-new Canyon Falls exhibit at Newport Aquarium is set to open to the public 10 a.m. Saturday, March 14.

Canyon Falls, which will occupy the area that formerly housed the Turtle Canyon exhibit, will be the new home to Asian small-clawed otters and some of the world’s most unique reptiles.

“Our guests spoke to us about the desire to bring back otters to Newport Aquarium and we heard them loud and clear,” said Chris Pierson, Newport Aquarium operations director. “From Asian small-clawed otters, to very rare species of lizards, Canyon Falls will offer guests a number of opportunities to experience and learn about the conservation of some truly unique animals.”


Asian small-clawed otters are back at Newport Aquarium by popular demand as Canyon Falls will initially feature two otters – Neda (female), who came from Kansas City Zoo, and Pork Chop (male), who came from National Zoo in Washington, D.C. The exhibit will offer guests multiple vantage points to see these playful and social animals up close and personal.

Newport Aquarium staff will host scheduled interactive otter talks at Canyon Falls, which will provide guests educational opportunities to learn more about otter biology and conservation. The talks will focus on survival adaptations and how humans directly impact the environment of otters – particularly Asian small-clawed otters, which are listed as a vulnerable species, one category away from endangered, by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).


In addition to otters, Canyon Falls will include two species of lizard never before seen at Newport Aquarium – yellow monitors, rare and active tree-dwelling lizards from Indonesia, and panther chameleons, one of the most colorful lizards in the world from Madagascar.

Canyon Falls will also feature two popular holdovers from Turtle Canyon: the iconic Thunder, a more than 100-year-old, 155-pound snapping turtle and Newport Aquarium’s oldest resident, will remain in the temple tank; and the Turtle Corral, where guests have the unique opportunity to touch several species of tortoises.

Yellow monitors will be on exhibit at Canyon Falls.

Yellow monitors will be on exhibit at Canyon Falls.

Newport Aquarium Annual Passholders will get to enjoy an exclusive sneak peak of Canyon Falls prior to the aquarium opening to the public at 10 a.m. Saturday. The Canyon Falls Annual Passholder preview is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and will include: Breakfast provided by Chick-fil-A; interactive games; exclusive animal encounters presented by the WAVE Foundation; and photo opportunities with the Chick-fil-A Cow and the stars of Newport Aquarium’s daily Penguin Parade, J.P. and Rocky.

For more information on Newport Aquarium, visit or call toll free 800-406-FISH (3474).


Newport Aquarium, voted the No. 1 aquarium in the country by USA Today’s in 2012, has showcased thousands of animals from around the world in a million gallons of water since 1999. Named a top U.S. aquarium by US City Traveler and Destinations Travel Magazine in 2014, and also by Travel Channel in 2013, Newport Aquarium is a Herschend Family Entertainment company and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Newport Aquarium is open to the public 365 days a year and is located across the Ohio River from downtown Cincinnati at Newport on the Levee.

Find us on: | Twitter: @NewportAquarium

One Aquarium Way | Newport, KY 41071 | 859-261-7444

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